Alright, so after having the phone for a full week (replacing my LG V20), this is what I have to say about it (while keeping in mind that I live in the US so our options are brutally limited):
TL;DR, it's a great phone that was pretty close to perfection. Some software updates could make it better but, for what I have now, it's pretty solid.
The design is what drew me to this device. No punch holes, no rabid 'BEZEL-LESS FOOOOTURE!' type. Glorious bezels with front-firing speakers, microSD card, and headphone jack are always welcome after the departure of LG. Sure, I could have gone with a Galaxy A52 with this but I don't support hypocrite companies so I'm left with Sony.
Display is gorgeous. Watching 4K videos on it are total overkill but I don't care. It looks beautiful. I do like when Creator Mode kicks in on certain movies as it adds to the HDR experience. I did decide to fire up 120Hz but I did much more to it (which I'll explain with the battery). It's smooth as butter. Could I go back to 60Hz? Sure (since display is only number 6 on the most important aspect in a phone IMHO) but I do like the smooth animations and scrolling very much. Genshin Impact and Pokemon Go were a joy to play with it. In terms of brightness? It's not as TERRIBLE as everyone makes it out to be as I could see what's on there in the Florida sunlight with full brightness.I won't lie though that it could be brighter. Sony did this so that the OLED panel is not impacted through burn-in but it could be a touch brighter. 8/10
With GSMArena's audio test, I thought I was gonna have a problem with the audio but those fears were put to bed. Hearing Phinehas, Trivium, Demon Hunter, and As I Lay Dying through the speakers are so satisfying coming from the V20 single speaker that it reminded me of my days with the HTC One M8. I missed it so much that single speakers are something I can NEVER go back to. I might not be able to even go to the current stereo setup every other flagship uses. Something about blasting metal in front of your face is so gratifying that it towers all flagships not named the ROG 2-5, Lenovo Legion Duel, and Red Magic. As for the audio through the Headphone jack, the quality is superb. As I say, until we get ZERO latency, 24-bit AptX lossless (we're getting closer), and graphene batteries for the Bluetooth headsets at least, headphone jacks with DACs should not perish. The Bluetooth audio isn't bad however but I think I'm gonna go back to the Rocket Music Player Pro app as the Sony music one...isn't bad but doesn't have as much to customize in terms of the audio quality as I'd like. The only gripe I have is the stereo channels that don't swap when you flip the landscape mode. It's minor but all phones have been able to swap the channels when the phone does so I don't see why this one shouldn't. Thankfully, unless the speaker tuning is very precise, a software update should be able to fix this. 9/10
The battery...man. It's a little bit what I feared but let me explain. I have done the following the second I got the phone and transferred everything over:
1. Enabled system-wide Dark theme
2. Activated Game Enhancer for all possible apps to drop the refresh rates to 60Hz and even 40Hz for a select few (Accubattery, Router apps, and Blockada don't need anything higher)
3. Destroyed all remnants of Facebook, Gmail, Chrome, Google Files and Youtube/Music to be replaced by Frost, Edison Mail, Firefox/Aloha, Simple File Manager and Youtube Vanced
4. Dark theme for all possible apps that aren't systematically tied to the Android one
5. Enable Stamina Mode for when the phone enters 20%
Unfortunately, I got a very similar result of TechNick's video at about 6:56 SoT. I unplugged the phone at 90% this morning at 7:45 A.M. and by about 3-ish (so a little better than my initial assessment) after a couple hours of Pokemon Go, texting on Discord, posting and replying on Reddit, recording one 4K@60fps video, and taking numerous photos, it got down to 10%. I will say this, the result is not TERRIBLE by any means but who the heck would argue against making it better? If this phone had LTPO like it should have, it would have probably been much better. I was begging for 5,000mAH battery when it was going to be announced but when I heard it was 4,500mAH, I got anxious. Overall, on a work day, it's PERFECTLY adequate battery life for me but a day off may leave me a little disappointed.
On a side note, I absolutely LOVE both Stamina Mode and Battery Care. Battery Care is only on Asus's latest flagships and from last year but it should be a standard for ALL flagships as an option. I love being able to plug in the phone overnight for it to be ready to go at 90% without going overboard. Stamina mode also seems to be much better than your typical battery saver mode on most Android devices. I don't know what Sony does with those processes but it is some awesome magic while keeping the buttery smoothness of the 120Hz. I may have to try the phone at full Stamina mode every day to see if there's a difference but I will always say this: phones should not have to go into some battery saver mode to give me all day battery. For that price, I should be able to go through 12 hours of moderate-heavy usage on a single charge with zero issues. 6/10
For the camera, I have a simple tip for all of you: DON'T USE THE BASIC AUTO when taking photos. Pro mode in auto gave me some of the best photos I have seen in major smartphones and my wife has a Huawei Mate 20 Pro while the in-law has a Pixel 4a. The colors are reproduced so naturally under the sunlight that there looked like zero processing that was needed to get some good shots. I also did not believe I was going to care for the shutter button but here I am lightly pressing it to focus and taking the snapshots at the blink of an eye with the uber quick shutter. That's the beauty of non-pixel binning I guess (pixel-binning takes a few split seconds longer when taking the shots). I wasn't able to do much with Cinematography Pro yet so I can't comment on it (although videos on Youtube do show it's capabilities quite well). Either way, my wife and I enjoyed the photos quite easily since we both prefer more natural photos than overblown colors. So much more to play with considering I haven't touched night shots (sorry guys. lol). 9/10
Processing power of this thing is as good as it gets with the 888. Genshin Impact on medium settings (but with 240Hz motion blur reduction on Game Enhancer) was a breeze to play and didn't lag on me. The phone does get a teeny bit hot when playing for lengthy sessions but I blame the processor since I have H.S turned on (this is SUCH a great feature that should also be a standard on most flagships). I couldn't even believe I could emulate a Wii game on Dolphin with this thing. Performance is great in my book; just needed a better heat chamber. 9/10
All-in-all, this is a seriously great device. It's a little on the pricey side (even with the freebies you get with the phone) and was marketed terribly outside of Japan and China but it's the best device I was gonna get this year in the US. The reception rocks, the display is beautiful, performance works well for my needs, audio is near-perfection, but the battery did hinder this down a bit. If Sony could wait until the 898+ comes out (since Samsung is still making the 898 next year) and throw in a 5,000mAH battery with an IGZO OLED panel (it's about to hit $1,400. Don't tell me they can't move away from Samsung for this), I would continue with Sony and nab it as that's ALL this device needed for pure perfection.
Should you get it? It all depends on your needs. If you live in Europe or India, there may be better devices for you based on your needs, In the US, to me, it was only this phone, ROG 5, or Lenovo Legion Duel (latter 2 are lacking a microSD card slot and sturdy build; Legion Duel at least has a 2nd Type C port so I let that slide). I'm glad I went with the Xperia and hope to see Sony do great things next year.
kevinmcmurtrie, 12 Sep 2021Storage access is broken in Google's Android 11. Google's layers on top of Linux ha... moreDeveloper modes "Force allow apps to outer storage" manifest override doesnt help?
francanna, 12 Sep 2021He said remapping without rooting. This is still not possible, as far as I knowIt is possible, by using XPERI+ app via an ADB shell minor command change. Its more like an android developer mode setting override.
Officialy thats not rooting.
LucasN82, 11 Sep 2021Xperia SD slots works slower than SD card (checked on my XZ3) - something about 40MB/s-50MB/s.... moreStorage access is broken in Google's Android 11. Google's layers on top of Linux have always been horribly slow - providing 50% to 0.01% speeds. Android 11 removed one of the ways to bypass SAF and now data intensive apps are completely dead from slow file access. I tried running OsmAnd+ and it wasn't even close to starting up after 2 hours of scanning maps. It should take a few seconds.
There's a workaround if the app allows a configurable storage directory. Give it full storage access permission and then move its data out the Android/data directory. Google says this workaround is gone in Android 12 but they still have no plans to fix their broken file APIs.
francanna, 12 Sep 2021He said remapping without rooting. This is still not possible, as far as I knowIt IS possible to remap the assistant button WITHOUT rooting the phone! Now as I said I completely disabled the assistant button by using ADB to uninstall Google, as well as two Google Assistant apps. I use the app named "App Inspect" from the store to identify all the installed apps. I then followed the remapping instructions outlined at XDA. It works great!
Stanley Kubrick, 11 Sep 2021Received mine on 9/10/21. So far so good. Using Nova Prime. (beware of Nova version 7 it'... moreThe part about notifications, make sure to get into the battery optimization settings so that the phone doesn't optimize the email apps. I had to do that with Edison Mail.
Stanley Kubrick, 11 Sep 2021I was able to remap the assistant button. XDA has all the details on how to do it. It's p... moreHe said remapping without rooting. This is still not possible, as far as I know
Stanley Kubrick, 11 Sep 2021Received mine on 9/10/21. So far so good. Using Nova Prime. (beware of Nova version 7 it'... moreI was able to remap the assistant button. XDA has all the details on how to do it. It's pretty easy.
Received mine on 9/10/21. So far so good. Using Nova Prime. (beware of Nova version 7 it's different but OK for me) Flashlight is a little dim. Maybe an update can improve it? I received the latest firmware for my North American version. Phone gets a little warm during setup because it is working so hard. Using 80% battery charge for now with auto DND turning on while sleeping. It turned on and off according to schedule. I may go up to 90% or even full charging depending on how it goes after a few days of use. Camera seems great to me but then again I am not a photography nut. Selfie camera is fine for me??? It works. Screen brightness outside is as good as any phone I have ever used. There may be a few phones that will still burn your retinas while the screen is in direct, overhead sunlight. But I think it is OK. I used ADB to "uninstall" the bloat. I also uninstalled GMAIL because I was NOT getting timely notifications. Actually I basically had to open Gmail in order for anything to show up. So I uninstalled it and then used the Play Store to reinstall it. I then made sure that it had no data or battery hindrances and it "seems" to have helped? More time will be needed to make sure. Now we just need a button remapping solution that doesn't require root. I completely disabled the Google Assistant button by uninstalling Google as well as the Google assistant APK. So for now the button does nothing. YMMV
kevinmcmurtrie, 09 Sep 2021Wow, bad phone. First off, the Xperia Transfer 2 app didn't migrate anything. It told... moreXperia SD slots works slower than SD card (checked on my XZ3) - something about 40MB/s-50MB/s. For apps you got 256GB/512GB ultra fast internal memory, SD card is for photos and videos (4K HDR is no problem for SD card slot). If you tell me that 256GB is not enough for apps that will be pathetic.
I got mine today. So far I've been impressed with it.
Two things I've noticed
#1 the flashlight isnt very bright.
#2 It takes a while for the phone battery to charge up.
kevinmcmurtrie, 09 Sep 2021Wow, bad phone.
First off, the Xperia Transfer 2 app didn't migrate anything. It told... moreLet me address these a little since I got the phone 2 days ago:
1. For me, the transfer missed a couple things and did miss the apps. Unless you're a skilled Command Prompt got (which it appears you are), none of the transfer apps transfers apps for the sole reason that not all apps are compatible with newer devices. It took me a bit but not a terrible inconvenience.
2. Yeah, I use Nova. Case closed
3. I totally agree with this unfortunately. My V20 destroys this flashlight.
4 and 5. I haven't run into these problems. It warms up while charging but that's about it. It's been smooth for me. Did you update to the latest firmware? I remember heat being a problem but the latest firmware seems to have cleared it up.
Wow, bad phone.
First off, the Xperia Transfer 2 app didn't migrate anything. It told Play Store to download a bunch of apps after at least 5GB of shovelware. Yes, GIGABYTES of shovelware.
Cancelling that broke Play Store. Used ADB to migrate app data and spent a good 30 minutes disabling apps in Settings.
Second, broken UX. The default "Side Sense" blocks the tiny settings button in the shortcuts. Several shortcuts are missing and can't be added. Xperia Launcher turns into a junk heap once apps start installing so you have to install a better launcher right from the start.
Third, the flashlight is so dim it's hard to tell that it's on.
Fourth, this phone has a microSD slot and Android 11, which has (intentionally) broken microSD support. Google says it might be 2x slower. Reality is more like 10000 times slower. Apps using their own microSD storage directories just hang. Known bug. Google hates people not buying Google's cloud storage.
Fourth, fingerprint set + fast charging + screen off = boot loops. You can even turn off the phone, plug in a charger, and it will reboot each time the charging animation turns off. This is probably a defect, but it's a biggie.
Fifth, the phone is always hot in the middle back and it's not a manufacturing defect. The video recording app literally says it will put an alert on the screen when you shouldn't touch there.
DN, 07 Sep 2021Hello friend maybe you need to activate the developer mode and USB debugging.It seems to be a problem bewteen the USB-C port on this laptop and this phone. I can use the same cable and USB-C port and successfully connect my iPad Pro and XZ3.
I connected the 1 iii to an old Windows 7 PC last night without issue. A minute after connecting, the driver was installed and I could view the storage. I just tried it on this laptop but now using a normal USB A port and it worked.
Dometalican, 03 Sep 2021I am still in shock I was able to order the phone from Best Buy just now and will arrive on Tu... moreProps for running that V20 for so long! Well done! I really hope you love this phone. I think you will. Gonna blow you away relative to the V20, which also was (is, in your case) an excellent phone.
Mine arrived yesterday, (512GB).
The phone is nice, not too different to holding my XZ3. The only issue I have so far is that my laptop (Windows 10) does not recognise the phone over USB.
Has anyone else had this issue?
Mangoon, 06 Sep 2021I LOVE taking pictures with this phone. The Basic Mode can be set to auto DHR if you want that... moreAfter reading: "I live in Hawaii" I became jealous!
If only I could find a way (afford a way) to move there...
My 1 mark 3 is due this Friday. Looking forward!